I wrote a piece earlier this year for my other job, working at a Students’ Union, all about CVs and how to make them stand out using social media and online tools. Having spoken to a few people recently who are looking for jobs in social and digital media, I thought it might be useful to share it over on this blog too.
We’re in one of the hardest job markets in a long time, and the number of people going for jobs in social media and publishing is phenomenal. So, how do you stand out? These days, a simple paper CV doesn’t cut the mustard. With so many resources available to you, from Facebook to YouTube and online design packages, there’s no reason you can’t be creative and make your CV something that potential employers want to see.
Not sure where to start? Here are a few ideas:
Match your CV to your industry
First things first, what industry are you hoping to go into? If you’re looking to go into a creative industry, like advertising, social media, design or film, incorporating some of the skills you have into your CV would be wise.
- If you want a job in print media, consider making your CV look like a newspaper front cover – highlighting your best points in the headlines.
- Want a job in visual media? Consider turning your CV into a video. Have a look below for some ideas of how you can do that.
- Considering a job with a management basis? Consider turning your CV into a report, demonstrating how you can help the company with your skills. Additional case studies, on a separate document, may also work in your favour.
Essentially, you need to think about what skills you want to showcase, then work out how to use them to create your CV.
Use your Design skills
If you’re into graphic design, or know someone else who is, considering giving your CV a real design makeover to stand out. Check out some of the suggestions on Mashable, which range from an interactive Facebook page to the infographic below. You can also use Visualize.me to create a CV infographic (although you can only link to it, like I have in my sidebar on the right, not download it at the moment). The image at the top of this page is a screen grab from my Visualize CV.
Make your CV Social Media savvy
One of the smartest things to do with your CV, is to make it so engaging that it’s shared across social media sites like Twitter, Facebook, Stumbleupon and YouTube. Graeme Anthony created an interactive video CV – and it went viral. His video spread like wildfire through social media, and he apparently landed a job within a few days.
You might also want to look at creating a Facebook page for your CV, or sum up your CV in 130 characters on Twitter (giving others room for a retweet).
QR Codes, Business Cards and Websites
If you’re willing to invest a little time in creating a CV online (try LinkedIn, or Innovate CV), you could try a little guerrilla marketing. Try going to a business card provider like Moo.com, and getting a QR Code printed on them which links to your website. Then leave your business cards in places that potential employers might visit. For example, you might want to leave some of them on the table of a business park coffee shop, on the seat of a rush hour train or ask a friend who works in a company you want to work for to pop them into the pigeon-hole of their employer.
Spelling and grammar checks
So, you’ve developed your CV idea and created your work of art…now what? Check your grammar and spelling. Then ask someone else to check your grammar and spelling. Then ask someone ELSE to check it for you. Especially if you’re after a writing job.
Don’t underestimate the importance of good grammar and spelling. It could give you the edge over those who don’t know the difference between their, there and they’re.
Does your CV stand out? Let me know if you know of any other unusual approaches to creating a CV.